GONAIVES, Haiti — Two deadly storms in four years sent the Lafortune siblings fleeing from this flood-wrecked city for the safety of the Haitian capital. But then the quake-ruined capital forced them back home.
Now they are bracing for more trouble with the arrival this month of hurricane season.
"I am always asking God, what does he want to do with us?" said Christeldine Lafortune, 23, eldest of eight siblings, recalling how the cascading waters of Tropical Storm Jeanne in 2004 and 2008's Tropical Storm Hanna sent her family to a rooftop as Gonaives became buried in a rising sea of mud and water.
The Lafortune family, like the tens of thousands of others who returned to Haiti's most flood-prone city after the catastrophic Jan. 12 earthquake, aren't sure if they escaped one disaster, only to await another. Meteorologists are predicting a heightened storm season, which runs until Nov. 30.
Nearly two years after a succession of tropical storms and hurricanes killed almost 800, left hundreds of thousands homeless and caused $1 billion in damage to roads, bridges and irrigation systems over a span of 30 days, Gonaives remains a basin of disaster.
"All this time they've been working on the city, and all they've done is reduce the mud," said an angry Anne Lafortune, 67, the children's grandmother. "If they don't work on the ravines that carry the water from the top of the mountains and into the La Quinte River, and we don't do proper drainage, the water will always be a threat to us."
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